Saturday, August 11, 2007
Hitler had made a conscious decision when planning the attack on Russia to encourage the Japanese to attack American interests. He hoped that they would keep the United States occupied in the Pacific and keep then too busy to attack Germany. Hitler did not trust the Japanese with the information about the planned attack against Russia. Hitler also hoped that the Japanese would declare war on Russia after the German attack. Prior to 7 December 1941, the Japanese informed Germany and Italy that their negotiations with the United States had reached an impass and asked that they declare war on the Americans. Both Germany and Italy did not immediately agree. This was at a time when Axis forces had been forced back to Tripolitania and the Russians had recaptured Rostov. Moscow had been successfully defended and the German forces had been halted outside of Moscow. Germany and Italy were thus greatly encouraged by the initial Japanese successes following 7 December 1941. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.